Best MMA superlative is "breakthrough fighter" Fighter of the Year just comes down to which champion had the most/most dominant defenses most of the time Breakthrough fighter is the dude who no one really gave any chance to or made the leap from journeyman or prospect to elite/popular I've got three Michael Bisping - Champion he may be, but in 2015 if I told you that DJ Mikey B was going to win UFC gold with a knockout, then defend his title (regardless of who it was against), you would have called me a filthy TUF noob and discredited my opinion. If I told you that he would beat Anderson Silva and Luke Rockhold to do it, you'd have called me Guernica. He's not quite the fighter of the year to me, but he's damn close and to jump up from being considered a guy who never beat anyone elite to the best MW (ish) in the world? Much love. Tyronathan Woodley - Another champion, but to start 2016 he was basically known for bitching about not getting shitle tots. This year he may be no more popular among hardcore fans, but he was basically written off against Robbie Lawler who he smoked in the first round then written off again in his first title shot against welterweight Machida aka Adult Sage who he arguably deserved to win over. He's no one's fighter of the year, but he went from a guy who people thought was vastly overrated to a legit champion with a chance to run the division if he can beat Wonderboy in a rematch. And lastly (but never least) The Groovy Goat Lando Vannata -There is no fighter more groovy than this man in the UFC, and despite going 1-1 in 2016, Lando Vannata is spin kicking his way into the UFC spotlight and right into our hearts with a highlight reel KO of the always tough Makdessi and a FoTY contender against current UFC #1 (or 2 depending who you ask) LW in Tony Ferguson. May he continue to sacrifice more fighters to the just bleed god for years to come. My personal pick, dude went from unknown to the man in the span of a few months. honorable mention : Cody Garbrandt has an outside chance to be FoTY with a win over Cruz (probably the best current MMA champion not named DJ) on Friday.